It’s natural to be nervous before meeting someone new. After all, first dates have a tendency to be planned meticulously which results in a sort of manufactured vibe most people do not deal with when they go out with friends. First date jitters, however, frequently translate into anxious behavior that comes off as undesirable. So, how do you act natural in the most unnatural situation? As it turns out, there are plenty of ways to ease tension and bring daters back to a calm state of mind just in time for the big event! Let Kelleher International’s elite matchmakers guide you through a few tried-and-true methods for acing your first date and soothing date anxiety.
Release the endorphins. If you have time, implement a regular workout routine prior to the date. Exercise has many benefits, including, but certainly not limited to, the release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. These hormones make it easier to calm down in times of stress and boost your mood so you can come off as approachable and friendly during your date.
Practice makes perfect. Many daters swear by this method: come up with a few icebreaker questions to toss out in the event of awkward silences. The goal is to keep the conversation flowing as naturally as possible and these questions will help ensure you make a good first impression. Try to keep questions as pointed as possible to avoid sounding scripted.
Phone a friend. Send photos of your date outfit to a friend to get their feedback and boost your confidence. If you are especially nervous, give someone a call and chat about your day or the weather. Think of this as a practice conversation so you’ll know how things will go later.
Think of the worst date you’ve ever been on. Nothing could be worse than that, right? It sounds counterintuitive, but thinking of the absolute worst case scenario and reminding yourself that it’s over can make you feel better about whatever unknown experience is yet to come. If you handled that awful situation before, you can field anything. You’re a dating pro!
Pick a playlist. Amp yourself up before the date with a rockin’ playlist filled with all your favorite feel-good tunes! Joan Jett, Led Zeppelin or Journey work well for us, but the Top 40 list is filled with plenty of hot beats and catchy lyrics. Dance your fears away and arrive at your date feeling like a rock star!
Rewrite the script. It’s not your date that’s scaring you; it’s the idea of going on a date that seems intimidating. Rephrase your internal dialogue so you can get excited about meeting someone new and trying whichever restaurant or activity the two of you have picked out for the evening. Downgrade the experience in your mind so it’s more on par with a calm evening out with a friend than a prelude to a marriage proposal. The pressure is officially off.
Find your mantra. While we’re on the topic of inner dialogues, find a phrase or word that helps bring you peace. Repeat this to yourself whenever you feel anxiety creep up. Whether your mantra is simply a reminder to breathe, affirmation that you are desirable, or “it can’t be any worse than last time,” make sure your mantra is meaningful and brings instant calm.
Have an exit plan. A lot of anxiety actually comes from anticipating the end of the date. Do you hug? Kiss? What if you’re ready to leave but your date wants another drink? Some people choose to make concrete plans immediately after their date so there is a set time limit. Others simply rehearse a line or two that indicates they are ready to leave. “I have to get up early tomorrow” can be an honest, guilt-free way to excuse yourself from the table. Pick a plan and stick with it.
After all these first date tips, there is one major thing you should never do before a first date. Regardless of what your friends say, do not drink or do shots before the scheduled meet-up! It’s okay to order a glass of wine or enjoy a selection from the bar if your date partakes as well, but the scent of alcohol on someone’s breath when you first go in for a handshake or hug could raise red flags. Most dates also involve driving to and from a dining establishment or popular attraction. Not only is drinking and driving unattractive and dangerous, but it’s also illegal. Stay safe and be confident in your own ability to dazzle your date without that initial buzz.
First dates don’t have to be a scream. Calm your anxious nerves with these tips from professional dating service experts designed to help you stay calm, cool, and collected even under pressure. When you feel good, it’s easier to act natural and let the positive parts of your personality shine through. After all, once the nerves go away, you may just find they have turned into a different type of feeling: love. If you are ready to go on your last first date, call or click today and speak with one of our matchmaking experts. Discover the potential in your love life today!